A recent study made by scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, determined that the sprint interval training (SIT) has as many benefits as the moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT), as recommended in public health guidelines.

According to this study, one minute of intense exercise could have as much positive benefit as exercising moderately for 45 minutes. About 27 inactive men who were asked to either undertake a short and intense exercise regime, a moderate one or no regime at all three times a week for 12 weeks.

Photo credit: Men's Health
A recent study determined that the SIT has as many benefits as the MICT, as recommended in public health guidelines. Photo credit: Men’s Health

The participants used exercise bikes with the intense workout involving interval training of 20 seconds sprints for a total of ten minutes with sufficient three-minute warm-up and cool down sessions. While the moderate group did 45 minutes of continuous cycling also with warm up and cool down routines.

The researchers found out that both groups did equally well in the tests carried out after 12 weeks, and both groups increased the same amount of oxygen intake, looking out an improvement in insulin sensitivity and muscle content.

Gym-free training

Dr. Martin Gibala, who is a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University and Kinesiology, says that it goes to show that small amounts of intense exercise are highly beneficial and should be encouraged. This study also shows that people don’t need to drag themselves to a gym or buy expensive equipment to get optimum health benefits from exercise since all they need is one minute of intense exercise being as effective as being at a gym.

“Our study shows that an interval-based approach can be more efficient. You can get health and fitness benefits comparable to the traditional approach, in less time,” said Dr. Gibala.

He also stated that the basic principles apply to many forms of exercise. Climbing a few flights of stairs on the lunch hour can provide a quicker and effective workout, where the health benefits are significant.

No pain, no gain?

Other studies have already shown that if the person is totally out of shape, starting with SIT may do more harm than good to the body. Even when the men in this study were sedentary, they completed the protocol under the close watch of trained experts

As other studies suggest, maybe SIT are most recommended compared to MICT, but isn’t the old motto “No pain no gain?” a constant on these workout routines in or outside the gym? It seems that it is, so let’s start those SIT.

Source: PLOS ONE